It is said that the value of anything is what you can get for it. Most of us don’t look to sell our Roadtreks, but I admit my wife and I read the “For Sale” ads on RV sites.. I for one feel smug when one is offered just like ours, but at a considerably higher price than we paid. “Weren’t we smart to buy our RT?” we say to each other. Value, like Beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
However, there is more value to our Roadtrek than just money. Our Red Rover (1995 Dodge 190 Popular) lets us visit relatives at a moment’s notice without imposing. We can take off for a weekend without retrieving it from some remote storage and emptying the checking account to fill the tank with fuel. When guests arrive and we offer them the use of the RT as a private bedroom in our driveway; they quickly accept. We take our Poodles on vacations. We stay at luxury campgrounds, or boondock with no hookups. The freedom to travel in our RT is priceless.
So valuable is our Roadtrek that Lynn says she would turn down a new replacement, if offered! (Nobody has offered that yet.)
The other day I talked to a RV dealer who decried the high price of used Roadtreks. Any dealer would love to buy your Roadtrek cheap and sell you a new one at a premium price. I understand the profit motive. But isn’t our RT worth what we can DO with it? We have modified and improved our Roadtrek to suit US (see www.RedRoverRoadtrek.com). Since it is long out of warranty, we readily drill holes, run wires, decorate the interior, and make it more comfortable and convenient. We installed a solar panel to recharge our house battery.
Resale? It never crosses our minds.
How can you treat your Roadtrek to give you more satisfaction (value)?
We do it by thinking about how to make it more livable. It is our not-too-big vacation cottage away from home. We started with storage. Our hobbies are cave exploring, kite flying, and Poodle dogs. We bought a SwingAway box for the back of our RT that lets us carry folding chairs, awning extensions, plus caving gear, kites, dog food, etc. We put bikes on our front bike rack. If we stop for several days we can set up an inviting outdoor patio with shade and invite guests to join us. Inside we saw that the interior can be made more livable by installing extra mirrors, clothes hooks, and better storage.
Lynn realized that clutter can make a RT look smaller, so we devised a place for everything and try to put stuff away. We don’t leave the bed open because that would close off a delightful seating and dining area. We can invite other campers in for coffee and ice cream without frantically hiding stuff. Some pillows from Pier 1 Imports and fleece blankets for seat covers from Walmart give us a House Beautiful look at low cost. Many Roadtrek owners have adapted one or more ideas to increase their own enjoyment and value.
Celebrate the fact that your Roadtrek is valuable, and can become more valuable as you make it your own. Be thankful that if the day comes when you must sell, you will get top dollar if you are smart, because of the value built in by Roadtrek and because there is a high demand for used Roadtreks by those who envy our lifestyle.
Several things have helped shape our understanding of our Roadtrek’s value. First, we have toured others’ Roadtreks at rallies and met friends with good ideas. We have listened carefully to neighbors who visit our RT. We haven’t been afraid to try new things – some work and some don’t. We found books that introduced us to the “Not So Big House” concepts. They changed our way of looking at our RT. Here’s a list of some of those books (try your library, Amazon, or book seller.)
- Patterns of Home; the Ten Essentials of Enduring Design, Jacobson, Max; Murray Silverstein, and Barbara Winslow, Taunton Press, Newtown, CT, 2001, 282 pp.
- The Not So Big House; a Blueprints for the Way We Really Live, Susanka, Sarah, with Kira Obolersky, Taunton Press, Newtown, CT.,1998, 200 pp.
- Creating the Not So Big House; Insights and Ideas for the New America. Susanka, Sarah, Taunton Press, Newtown, CT.,2002, 258 pp.
- Not So Big Remodeling; Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live, Susanka, Sarah and Marc Vassallo, Taunton Press, Newtown, CT., 2009, 200 pp.